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Waste Receptacle Design

Waste Receptacle Design

Enhanced Appearance, Accessibility and Durability

Sunday, January 11, 2015/Categories: Case Studies


A quick serve franchisor committed to operational efficiency was always looking for ways to tweak the brand. The customer decided to enhance its brand at the store’s point of entry.


The garbage can had not been changed for nearly 20 years. It was a low cost stock unit regularly plagued by door hinge breakage from frequent use and liner changes. There was also the potential for pinched fingers in the swinging disposal door. The low-end laminate on the top chipped easily and backsplashes were too short, so the receptacles took a beating and looked bad.

Sound Advice

Change the design of the waste receptacles to be more attractive, resilient and customer friendly.

Proven Solution

KECdesign worked with the manufacturer and requested a shop drawing of a custom designed waste receptacle that would meet this customer’s unique needs. At KECdesign’s request the manufacturer generated a shop drawing of the custom garbage can in just 48 hours. Partnering with the customer’s team to evaluate the design, durability and quality, the following was decided:

  • Replace the existing backsplash with a seamless, non-porous product (Corian®) to look better, clean better and break less during late night, high traffic patterns
  • Eliminate the swinging panel for customer disposal and put a “hole” in the top of the can. No more “pinched fingers” and less spillage for better cleanliness
  • Add a stainless steel “O” ring around the waste hole to minimize Corian® chipping from heavy duty use
  • Change the “stock” 2-door, 4-hinge inefficient door design and replace with a single door unit with 3 hinges to improve the durability during waste removal 
  • Source a pull-out liner without wheels to maximize waste capacity inside the receptacle so staff would make fewer trips to empty garbage

This “wish list” was given to the manufacturer to create a second shop drawing, who initially said the second “O” ring could not be constructed. But KECdesign suggested ideas that were “outside of the box” and the manufacturer responded. Within 3 days a prototype and final shop drawing were sent for approval. The whole process took 12 days and new waste receptacles, consistent with the brand, were in place.

Unbeatable Price

The custom design with a Corian® top represented a 20% increase in cost, but it doubled the unit’s durability – as a result, waste receptacle reorders were cut in half.